By Kehinde Ayantunji
Governorship aspirants from the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) have denied the claim of the party Elders’ forum (Agba Osun) that the governorship aspirants from Osun West Senatorial District have agreed to narrow down the contest by presenting three out of 20 aspirants from the district.
The Elders forum had on Tuesday claimed that the aspirants have agreed to pick Elder Peter Babalola from Irewole/Ayedade Isokan, Hon Najeeem Salaam from Ede Federal Constituency and Alhaji Moshood Adeoti from Iwo federal constituency
One of the leading aspirants from the district, Enginer Adelere Oriolowo while speaking to OSUN DEFENDER described the information as false and not the true representation of what transpired at the meeting held at the residence of the Chairman of the APC Elders Forum, Chief Shola Akinwumi in Ilobu.
According to him, the aspirants were only advised by the Elders to work out a strategy to reduce the number of aspirants and unite the district in the struggle to secure the party ticket.
He said “That can never be true, I can tell you categorically that we never made such agreement with anyone, it is better imagine, they don’t have such power and I believe they cannot do that, the only agreement we have is agitation for zoning, I am not stepping down for anybody”.
Also, Mr Benedict Olugboyega Alabi (BOA) also denied endorsing any candidate at the federal constituency level but confirmed that the elders suggested that the aspirants should meet and agree on a consensus, saying the elders were not given any mandate to pick for them at any point.
He explained that “Three days ago, we held a meeting in Ilobu and all the aspirants from the district attended the meeting convened by the party elders (Agba Osun)
“What Agba Osun told us was to go and present one candidate from each of the federal constituencies and up till this time that I am talking to you, no meeting has been held regarding that, it is a lie, the reality is that some of us are serious about this aspiration and it seems no one is ready to give up before primary
“It is false that they have picked any one, for instance, in Irewole /Isokan/ Ayedade federal constituency, we have about seven aspirants and we have not sat to discuss it, if anyone is telling you that we have picked Elder Peter Babalola it is a lie, the elders have no power to pick any candidate, the only consensus is that the governorship ticket should be zone to Osun West senatorial district” he said.